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Old 02-23-2016, 11:43 AM   #41
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Default Re: [Game] Generate a Space Trader Setting

Part Two
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So, I hope you think this is an interesting and unique way of handling jump drives. It's a bit light on game mechanics at the moment, but that can come later.

Cheers for reading.
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Old 02-23-2016, 05:21 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by ericthered View Post
Question: are certain types of government more common, or is it a total miss mash of monarchies, theocracies, democracies, and so forth?
This varies between species and cultural groups. Amongst humans, democracy is the default form of government and few if any human colonies don't pay at least lip service to democratic principles.

However democracy as practiced in the mid-31st century (like a millennium earlier) covers a multitude of sins including both a number of fringe forms (eg sortation) and a significant minority of 'illiberal democracies' exhibiting a variety of flavours of personalised regimes, de-facto oligarchies and theodemocracies (similar to present day Iran).

Similarly many other species tend to one or two preferred forms of government. The Mar Kan (I am going to leave the other species to their creators) for example share the human taste for the trappings of democracy although in many cases the operative word is trappings the Mar Kan are even more likely to follow the illiberal route than humanity.

Q: Are there any physiological or psychological effects from FTL travel?

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Old 02-23-2016, 05:40 PM   #43
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Default Re: [Game] Generate a Space Trader Setting

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Originally Posted by Daigoro View Post
Shorter jumps are more accurate, so depending on our hyperdrive paradigm it might be more economical to take a number of short jumps than risk a long jump. So here, it's midway between two widely separated groups of destinations- do you jump safely to the midpoint, then safely to your destination, or wildly towards your ultimate destination then narrow in?
Pretty much what I had in mind, based on what we had at the time it struck me as logical that while ships have a theoretically unlimited FTL range that in practice most ships at the very least those with older or cheaper drive systems would have a comparatively short practical range dictating short jumps and broadly predictable routes.

By the way I like where you are going with the drive write up.
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Old 02-23-2016, 08:04 PM   #44
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Default Re: [Game] Generate a Space Trader Setting

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Q: Are there any physiological or psychological effects from FTL travel?
Long jumps produce a greater physical strain on carbon-water-based bodies than shorter jumps. Side effects of longer jumps produce symptoms similar to asthma and post-crandial upper abdominal distentions ("cramps"). There have even cases where folks have died due to the strain, but those were generally the elderly and folks with pre-existing heart conditions.

Q. Is there anything similar to an international police/naval force for dealing with pirates and protecting colonies that can't protect themselves? Is it properly funded or given the decommissioned scraps of other forces' navies?
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Old 02-23-2016, 09:10 PM   #45
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Default Re: [Game] Generate a Space Trader Setting

When the situation gets bad enough a larger force will respond to piracy on worlds away from a central government's protection. The amount of protection depends on how concerned the government is with its reputation regarding piracy.

Independant colonies can choose to get a third party to protect them. But this leaves them totally reliant on the third parties honesty. Protection rackets of varying legality tend to result. Most independant colonies are forced to just risk just getting by with what they can afford. This added level of risk means larger trading endeavors tend to leave the independant colonies to the smaller traders.

Question
With ftl technology scattering fleets on every jump how do "deep water" navies operate? Large self sufficient ships? Huge FTL carriers? Something else?
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Old 02-23-2016, 09:23 PM   #46
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Default Re: [Game] Generate a Space Trader Setting

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When the situation gets bad enough a larger force will respond to piracy on worlds away from a central government's protection. The amount of protection depends on how concerned the government is with its reputation regarding piracy.

Independant colonies can choose to get a third party to protect them. But this leaves them totally reliant on the third parties honesty. Protection rackets of varying legality tend to result. Most independant colonies are forced to just risk just getting by with what they can afford. This added level of risk means larger trading endeavors tend to leave the independant colonies to the smaller traders.

Question
With ftl technology scattering fleets on every jump how do "deep water" navies operate? Large self sufficient ships? Huge FTL carriers? Something else?
Single, massive "jump carriers" bring small fleets of support craft. A single large ship could be taken out by a single lucky shot (Although modern defenses mitigate that somewhat), but a fleet of fighters can take at least as many hits as it has elements. The fighters can screen the area and protect the jump carrier, harrassing shipping, shutting down orbital activity, possibly even landing commando missions, while the carrier remains at a safe distance.

An invasion generally starts with a single carrier jumping in after arriving from long distance. Its forces interdict trade until the local planet gives in or additional carriers arrive and eventually give the invading side overwhelming force. Defending a planet surface is fairly easy if there's only one attacking jump carrier, so defenders focus on taking out the carrier before a second can arrive, and a third, and a fourth, making the battle exponentially more difficult.

HOWEVER! Each navy has different approaches to this basic model, some of them diverging quite widely. For example, anything from a simple, very light jump carrier with a cargo of only four highly-capable battleships, all the way to a hive-ship with substantial armor and weapons and thousands of drones, has seen use in space.

Question: Is there such a thing as magic, psionics, both, or neither in this setting?

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Old 02-23-2016, 10:29 PM   #47
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A comment on government types
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frost View Post
This varies between species and cultural groups. Amongst humans, democracy is the default form of government and few if any human colonies don't pay at least lip service to democratic principles.
This is true for governments participating in galactic society. But, just to point out as well, there are 100 billion stars in the galaxy, with just as many planets, probably with around 1 billion that are habitable with a modicum of technology. And all of these stars are relatively easily within reach of anyone with enough commitment and lack of mental stability to strike out into the great black yonder. Any star is probably within about 10-20 jumps of any other, if you know where you're going. For many explorers looking for a habitable planet, you need to check out up to 100 systems while keeping the jump tanks fuelled from gas giants. So in the course of history, there have been any number of groups of colonists led by demagogues, religious ideals, isolationist principles or commercial dreams who have set out and never been heard from again. For many of these, it's because they didn't survive the journey or initial difficulties of colonisation, but for just as many, they're quietly surviving or thriving out in a corner of the galaxy that no one else has stumbled upon since.

By definition then, the societies that are on the major trade routes and participating in galactic society are the ones whose government and cultural types are open-minded, democratic-leaning and somewhat capitalistic.
Quote:
a number of fringe forms (eg sortation)
Would that be sortition? I hadn't heard of either so I'm trying to look it up.

A note on jump effects
Quote:
Originally Posted by tbrock1031 View Post
Long jumps produce a greater physical strain on carbon-water-based bodies than shorter jumps. Side effects of longer jumps produce symptoms similar to asthma and post-crandial upper abdominal distentions ("cramps"). There have even cases where folks have died due to the strain, but those were generally the elderly and folks with pre-existing heart conditions.
Not to mention the aforementioned high G's and hours long bumpy ride causing bruises and motion sickness- so gel couches, sedation or immersive entertainment are the order of the day.

An idea for advanced jump drives
Quote:
Originally Posted by PTTG View Post
Single, massive "jump carriers" bring small fleets of support craft.
As another possible tech advance on the hyperplasma conduit idea, ships could fire synchronised plasma beams that propagate together through 7-space, meaning that ships could arrive with a tighter grouping. In setting though, this kind of tech is still very much on the drawing board or may show up as a McGuffin that rival groups want to steal or copy.
Quote:
Question: Is there magic, psionics, both, or neither in this setting?
Answer
Magic and Psi


Magic? There are charlatans who say they can stand on an asteroid and commune with the vacuum whales or who say they hear the many voices of god deep in 7-space, telling them how they can make money more easily, but this is a pretty straight up no-mana setting.

Psionics? Not per se, but some precursor artefacts are possibly either psionic or have a technological user-interface that is indistinguishable from psionics.

Question 32
What's the largest human trade, industrial and population centre? Or do different locations have these individual mantles?

Auxiliary Jump Drive Question
(Mainly to keep jump drive talk separate from setting building, but also because it's basically a multiple choice question.)
If gravity is a repulsive force in the 7-dimension spacetime manifold, what relation does ship size have to this?
a) Ship size is irrelevant to jump performance
b) Smaller ships, less affected by gravitational disturbance, have better jump performance
c) Larger ships, with more inertial resistance to disturbance, have better jump performance

Auxiliary Setting Question
What's a handy and catchy title for this campaign setting?
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Old 02-23-2016, 11:51 PM   #48
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Default Re: [Game] Generate a Space Trader Setting

While Sol has the largest human population and the largest industrial facilities at the moment it seems certain that the situation will change in the near future. The Whitworth system with two fully habitable worlds and an immensely rich gas giant teeming with sky hooks seems poised to be the first system to reach a population of 50 billion.

The inhabitants of the little Barrier system with its unique tidal forces and solar debris fields are experiencing an industrial growth boom that shows no signs of slowing.

The trade capital has for centuries been Odysseus no matter what the central government says. Located more or less equidistant between the core human worlds, Rhii space and the CyKoi zone.

Odysseus is an otherwise fairly bland system one habitable planet slightly dry for human tastes and an economically viable gas giant.

Question
How to ships get around a solar system? What's the minimum range for a jump?

I choose A for the multichoice question

Name idea
The Interstellar Drift (It may not be a good name but it got stuck in my head)
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Old 02-24-2016, 12:32 AM   #49
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Default Re: [Game] Generate a Space Trader Setting

Quote:
Originally Posted by (E) View Post
Question
How to ships get around a solar system? What's the minimum range for a jump?
Answer
Shallow Jumps

Actually, shallow jumps were invented first, as they only utilise a 5 space manifold. However, in this regime, gravity works a lot differently- I'd have to show you a whole bunch of tensor equations to properly explain it though. Basically, you can't jump to a body of mass, the closest you can get is around 6 radii. Secondly, at about 0.1 ly from a stellar mass (6000 AU) you hit this hard boundary that just sends you back where you came from. Again, don't ask me to explain it, it's a consequence of a 5 dimensional cotangent bundle breaching an orthogonal.

Fortunately though, these jumps only use about 1/10th the fuel of a deep jump through 7d space- so about 30 jumps per fuel tank.

And there is no minimum range, really, you could jump 10m backwards if you wanted and if you could calculate the launch solution.

Quote:
I choose A for the multichoice question
It is the easiest-to-game solution- is that why you chose it, or for effects on the setting? We can see what a couple of other people think too.

Quote:
Name idea
The Interstellar Drift (It may not be a good name but it got stuck in my head)
Not so bad. Better than my idea, which was none.

Question 34
Villain

Did you see the episode of 60 Arc Minutes that came in on the last shuttle? It was all about this real bad guy that everyone thinks is horrible, but no one's doing anything about him? What was his name again?
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Old 02-24-2016, 12:32 AM   #50
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I would point out that it certainly makes sense that there's no theoretical connection between size and performance, the cost of making a high-end drive is slightly more than proportional to the size of the drive, since as the drive grows larger, there's a multiplicative effect on the number of elements that need to be calibrated. If you see a very fast, big ship, then you're looking at something that belongs to a very wealthy faction, while a tramp freighter can be quite fast even as it scrapes by with a single (exceptionally talented) engineer.

So, A), but B).
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